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home : opinions : opinions May 26, 2016

9/2/2014 10:15:00 AM
Letters: 'Share the Road' signs obviously don't mean anything


While acknowledging that I left town shortly after the death of the MS Ride cyclist, I must admit to being somewhat taken aback by the headline in Sunday (Aug 31) paper. Maybe I need an update or clarification as this hopefully only relates to any additional charges?

What about the failure to provide a minimum of 3feet when passing a bicycle? The picture in the paper shows a double white line ... a citation issued? If the driver tried to pass and then swerved back in and struck the cyclist, what about failure to maintain control ... or too fast for existing conditions?

I would hope that either the reporter or the County Attorney could provide an update/summary as to what action/citations was taken?

Title 28 (Transportation Laws) Section 28-735 defines the three foot minimum and required "due care" when passing cyclists and "violation of this section resulting in death ... is subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars." The article could certainly go into the details of what happened over the course of the three months since the incident, if anything. It saddens me to think that the net result of all that time was that the motorist "was ordered to be re-tested by Motor Vehicle Division."

It may make the prosecutor's job pretty difficult to convict if everyone claims "it was an accident!" I would think that the majority of things that happen in life are "accidents" but the fact is that certain actions (violations of the law) should have consequences.

The sad part is that the cyclist was within the law, but when matching a person on a 25-pound bike against a 2000-pound vehicle, being right doesn't save your life! If there are no consequences to violations of the law that result in injury or death to another, then we may as well remove the "Share the Road" signs, as they certainly don't mean anything.

Peter Hart


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Article comment by: @mh -

The driver has admitted that he tried to pass and thought there was room.

If the rider had veered into his path he might have justification for a collision but that was not the case.

2 other close friends of the victim were in close proximity and struck as well thought not fatally.

Quibbling over minutia only ignores the ignorance of the issue.

Should the inability to judge distance or spare 10 seconds to save a life not be recognized?

Does the victim always have to be blamed?

Should all riders be banned from 'unsafe roads' or how about we fix them so everyone is safer instead of singling out a group?

Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Article comment by: Dear Bumped,

Were you at the scene of the accident when it occurred? Can you swear the bicyclist was not swinging out into the road just as the motor vehicle was moving back into the lane to avoid a head-on collision?

I don't know. I haven't seen any eyewitness testimony quoted in the paper. That's a little strange with so many people around. But bad things usually happen when no one's paying attention, and if the County Attorney had no witnesses, she'd have a hard time proving a law had been broken by anyone, as Yavapai County Chief Deputy Attorney Dennis McGrane stated in the article linked above.

At this point, wouldn't it be better to focus on safer routes and/or conditions for future charity rides? Maybe get a bicycle lane on Cornville Road, since that's a favorite route and a problem for both cyclists and motorists even when it isn't crowded.

Railing at the legal establishment seems counterproductive. The laws currently on the books favor cyclists, and calling for specious prosecutions is liable to get all cyclists banned from dangerous roads. That would be the easiest, least expensive solution to impatient drivers. I don't want to see that happen. Do you?


Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Article comment by: Bumped from the edge of the road, not unlike the 3 cyclists that day.

Maybe the County Attorney can just forget a person died but not us.

A fellow cyclist is fallen for an extra 10 seconds and 3 feet.

And not a word of solace or apology... not a glimmer of justice being served.

Ride on rider... ride on...

Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Article comment by: Resurrection of the lost thread, was it hit by the driver as well?

Nice to see lots of cyclists out and about recently. Regardless of open season on cyclists by the county attorney's office.

Rage against the dying of the light! And be sure to have lights mounted on your cycle front and rear!

Scare the road be darned and keep spinning all you riders. Be safe and fight for yourself since you know the county attorney wont!

Posted: Monday, September 22, 2014
Article comment by: Another day older and almost gone-

So long to the letter that simply stated the truth.

From share the road to smear the road, such a short trip.

Do not let this ship sail calmly into the night of forgotten issues.

A bicycle rider died
justice was denied

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2014
Article comment by: As the letter nears the end of the virtual road .

It will slide off the bottom of the page as the rest of the reminders of a life lost have.

Don't let it simply vanish, don't let those responsible ride off into the sunset with no recognition of what has happened

Not asking for prison or a pound of flesh- just a failure to yield Right Of Way? Suspended license? Public apology or statement?

Just something other than NOTHING!

A person died here...and it's like it never happened.

Now every rider in the valley has a target on their back and a precedent is being set that as long as you claim ignorance or old age you can cause a death and walk away free without even a ticket or a point on your record?

Hello? Is this for real?

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Article comment by: The signs mean something to some folks -

The ones that actually value human lives and learned to share as children.

This injustice should not go quietly into the night... A death warrants more than a retest for a license.

So much hard work lost to a few impatient seconds.

Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Article comment by: Derek Ridell

To "What Does it matter",

It's our local government's failure to enforce laws that allows for your dangerous state of mind. If police and other government officials demonstrated that they take these laws seriously, you would know that you treat a bicycle just as you would any other vehicle on the road, except that you just need to give them three feet when you pass them. It's not hard. And don't get me started about having to pass slow cars through Jerome on my bicycle. They don't even move to the right like a cyclist does when being passed.

Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Article comment by: One for the road -

Share today, Gone tomorrow.

Never to ride again
Never to feel the wind
Never to pass the miles
Never to share the smiles
Sadly fallen to the back of the county's files

A life lost and a heart that beats no longer
Sacrificed to make all us riders stronger

Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Article comment by: Scare the Road signs -

Share the Road:

Somewhere... over the shoulder...

Or not... you won't get charged anyway.

Except on Sunday, then it's game on!

If it's convenient.

The closer the better, the riders like a stiff breeze.

Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Article comment by: Perhaps the signs need to be revised to reflect reality?

Options include but are not limited to:

If you feel like it.

Unless you are in the county on narrow roads that really need the signs to remind you to share the road.

Unless you are 90 and won't actually get cited for anything.

Unless you really need to get to that appointment and don't have 10 seconds to spare.


Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014
Article comment by: @ I. Roniklee- consider that they may be driving to a safer location to ride.

For example a person that lives in the verde villages with roads that have no shoulders (thank you county) drives over to a location in the city or 89 to Sedona that have bike lanes or at least wider lanes that will be safer to ride in.

Given the obvious number of cycle haters in our otherwise 'friendly and welcoming' valley, it seems that people are being told to take a drive to the city of phoenix as it may actually be more hospitable to those riders.

Rather than keeping the $ local you are all too eager to send it away.

Enjoy the results of your labors folks.

Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014
Article comment by: I. Roniklee

Bicyclists who ride all decked out in special clothing to demonstrate their membership in a virtual community ofttimes burn gasoline in their motor vehicle to get to a starting point for their recreational rides on which they self-righteously demand special consideration from motorists.

These are not the same riders I see using bicycles as a clean and healthy alternative to a motor vehicle for travel to work or market.

Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014
Article comment by: What Does it matter

If a road doesn't have a shoulder, no bikes..better yet bikers should have to have a map, with dots on it, showing where they can ride. Chaps my rear when you drive up to Jerome, and there or a much of cyclists that you have to go around, because they can't even do the speed limit. You put my life in jeopardy, yours, and everybody else.So who is at fault? I say who ever put that ride on. On roads with no shoulders

Posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Article comment by: Eugenia Hart

There is always someone who says because I see a cyclist not following the law, all cyclists should be run over. Is that your argument? I am out there, and feel vulnerable. I have been all over the world cycling and have always felt respect except in the US.

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